American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. plans to build a new plant near Barcelona, Spain, to produce automotive powertrain components for European automakers including Renault, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, Audi and Ford. The new, 15,000 sq.-m. plant at Viladecans will consolidate operations of two smaller plants, nearby at Gavà, starting in January 2019.
The cost of the new plant project was not announced.
American Axle chairman and CEO David C. Dauch, said the new plant "will help AAM meet customer demand for products that help reduce noise and vibrations from downsized engines.”
Detroit-based American Axle as four business units: Casting, Driveline, Metal Forming, and Powertrain. It has 90 plants worldwide supplying components and systems for automotive, commercial vehicle, and industrial manufacturers.
The new AAM Barcelona will produce a full range of damper products — devices for reducing mechanical vibration — including damped gears for Ford, BMW and PSA; PV-bonded dampers for Audi, Mercedes and FCA; isolation pulleys for Renault; and in-mold bonded dampers for Mercedes, Ford and Porsche.
Currently, AAM’s two plants in the Barcelona area produce a similar range of automotive components, and the producer calls itself “a leader in this segment, having pioneered the isolation pulley, many types of viscous dampers, and damped gears.”
“The new Barcelona facility will allow AAM to rationalize and improve operations through a lean and efficient layout and production flow, and to re-integrate the currently externalized warehouse,” stated Greg Deveson, president of AAM Powertrain. “As automakers continue to downsize engines, especially with the increased number of hybrid applications, demand for products like damped gears and isolation pulleys will increase. This new facility will help AAM continue to meet and exceed our customers’ performance and quality expectations.”